Op-Ed: The IS Caliph is Not an Islamic Pope

The US has designated the head of IS a terrorist, at last.
Published: Friday, August 22, 2014 10:14 AM


The United States has designated the head of IS, who calls himself the Caliph - the head of all Islam followers word-wide - as a terrorist. The United States proclaimed that Abu Mohammed al-Adnani is to be considered a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224.

America, commendably, is not falling into the trap of thinking the Caliph is just a religious head much like the Pope is the religious head of Catholics.  It seems that the US recognizes that Abu Mohammed al-Adnani is waging war against the West.

The United States of today is not repeating the error of comprehension regarding Islam described and noted in the Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 1933, volume 11 article “Pan-Islamism",  describing a caliph at about the turn of the 20th century in Turkey:

“...The last constructive caliph [sultan-caliph Abdul-Hamid II 1876-1909], he worked pan-Islamic threads into the web of international intrigue behind which he tyrannized for the third of a century over the Turkish Empire.  He appealed to Moslem fellowship and fanaticism to exploit the new means of contact and communication which had made of the Moslem world for the first time a more or less coherent community and to wage war against the west with its own weapons.

"This diplomatic jihad, or, holy war, had both a propaganda and a program.  Every Moslem, of whatever race or citizenship, knew he was bound by his faith to combine with fellow Moslems.  To avoid collision with western imperialism and nationalism, the propaganda campaign was carefully camouflaged by taking advantage of a western delusion that looked on the caliphate purely as a spiritual authority. 

"The fallacy of regarding the caliph as a Moslem pope had been accepted on the authority of early exponents of Islam…In 1903 Abdullah Suhrawardy founded the Pan-Islamic Society of London, whose journal Pan-Islam, was characteristic of the movement in the way it took color from its circumstances---lavishly using humanitarian and even socialist phrases to characterize 'Asiatic' virtue as opposed to European vice.”

In last week’s Torah reading we read: “It is not because of your virtues and your rectitude that you will be able to possess their country; but it is because of their, wickedness that the Lord your God is dispossessing those nations before you, and in order to fulfill the oath that the Lord made to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” (Deut. 9:5). This most certainly includes, after seeing the recent atrocities of IS, followers of Islam who believe in Jihad:

“The duty to carry on the Jihad, the holy war against unbelievers, was almost accepted as a sixth pillar and has wide popular appeal to the present day. It is based on the present assumption that the relationship of the Islamic community to all non-Islamic communities is one of war, which may be interrupted by an armistice solely for reasons of momentary advantage and which ends only with Islam’s subjugation of the entire world” (Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 1933, Volume 10, page 337).

The Islamic belief in Jihad is a wickedness of person to another fellow person. It is akin to the practices of the wicked 7 nations of Canaan who indulged in child sacrifices and other wicked practices.

Other aspects of Islam may seem to embody foolishness, and a denial of reality. Outsiders, properly, have  no right to interfere in those points to try to change them.

Jihad, however,  is a war crime that outsiders have every right, indeed, an obligation, to stop.